The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) is a non profit organization which hosts an annual 17-day summer fair, seasonal amusement park, and arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It usually begins in mid-to-late August, and ends in early September, usually Labour Day.
The exhibition has been held in Hastings Park since it first took place in 1910. It was opened by then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier as theIndustrial Exhibition. The biggest attractions of the two-week fair are its numerous shops, stalls, performances, a nightly fireworks show, and the PNE Prize Home. The highest attendance the fair has recorded was 1.1 million in 1986, most likely due to Expo ’86 that was occurring at the time. The PNE was once the second largest fair after the New York State Fair.
Other than the fair, Hastings Park is also the home of Playland, a horse racetrack (which also bears the name Hastings Park), the Pacific Coliseum (an ice hockey arena), the PNE Forum, and the PNE Agrodome. It was the site of Empire Stadium, which was demolished and replaced with a public soccer field. It is also the location of Hastings Skatepark, a skateboard bowl located to the south of the Pacific Coliseum.
The PNE has played an important role in the history of Vancouver. From its beginnings as a showcase for the region’s agriculture and economy, it has grown immensely. This growth has resulted in many questions about the fair’s future at Hastings Park. Beginning in 1997, the city has restored a large portion of the park. Many old fair buildings have been demolished and replaced by a more natural character. Although land was purchased in Surrey that was to become the fair’s new home, the PNE has since transferred ownership from the province to the City of Vancouver and will remain at Hastings Park. The PNE is a registered charity.
Two attractions at the PNE were named as heritage sites by the City of Vancouver in August 2013. The Pacific Coliseum and the wooden roller coaster were added to the list